November 2017


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•MDH & ORHPC news
•MDH & ORHPC grants & loans
•Other grants & funding
•News of our partners
•Staff news
•Now read this
•Save the date

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MDH and ORHPC news

Mark Schoenbaum honored as he retires

Our director, Mark Schoenbaum, is retiring at the end of this year.

His retirement celebration will be November 30, 3:00-5:30 p.m. at the Hiway Federal Credit Union, 840 Westminster Street, St. Paul, MN 55130. All are welcome! If you'd like to send in any stories or good wishes, please send them to If you'd like to contact Mark directly: or 651-201-3859.

His dedication and leadership over the course of his career have been honored these last couple of months. The Minnesota Rural Health Association bestowed their Lifetime Achievement Award to Mark in grateful recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to strengthening the health, health care and well-being of rural Minnesotans. The Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board bestowed their Lifetime Achievement Award to Mark in recognition of his years of service as a member of the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.

Mark Schoembaum at Many Faces

Community Health Champion Award

The Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC) awarded Mark their Community Health Champion Award for his significant achievement in assuring affordable health care services for all Minnesotans. His leadership over the years with grant and loan programs, recruitment and retention, development of innovative practitioner models, guidance on financial/operational challenges for safety net providers, and analysis of health care reform proposals has provided Minnesota’s community health centers and other safety net providers a strong foundation from which to serve communities that would otherwise go without care.

2017 Many Face Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve

The MDH Office of Rural Health and Primary Care was a proud Education and Scholarship Sponsor for this year´s Many Faces Conference. The annual conference explores improving care and reducing health disparities in under-served populations and among those living in poverty. Many Faces brings information and resources on clinical care, public policy, and health innovations to Minnesota´s health care community, with a focus on safety net providers.

Attendees are health care professionals, students, staff from FQHCs and other safety net programs, policy makers, and citizens active in community public health. Attendees come together to learn about the impact of health care reforms, ways to advance health equity, and how to apply best practices to the delivery of primary care to the disadvantaged. Numerous health care organizations and companies support Many Faces as sponsors and/or exhibitors, joining with public health and community-based agencies to promote our conference and deepen our impact on Minnesota´s health care safety net providers and patients.

2017 Many Faces attendees
Dega Adan, Volunteers of America; Fatima Mohamed, CHW, Well Share International; Saida Mohamed, University of Minnesota; Zam Zam Ali, Hennepin Health

Nitika Moibi

Rising Star Award

Health Workforce Analysis Program Supervisor Nitika Moibi received the Rising Star Award at the Women in Public Service Conference at Hamline University. This award is for women with ten years or less of public service experience who are already making an impact. Nitika manages a major enterprise that collects demographic and practice data from 200,000 licensed health professionals. She works to improve the diversity of the health professions so they better match the race, language, ethnicity and culture of the people they serve, and she has taken what has historically been routine reporting to a growing level of analysis that policymakers turn to as a reliable source for their efforts to diversify Minnesota’s health care workforce and meet the growing demand for health care workers. Congratulations, Nitika!

Does Minnesota’s aging psychology workforce put our mental health system at risk?

This article published in MinnPost by Andy Steiner features the work of ORHPC Senior Research Analyst Teri Fritsma on the psychologist workforce shortage issue in Minnesota.

Teri Fritsma

Minnesota team selected for State Oral Health Leadership Institute (SOHLI)

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that four cross-agency teams – from Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, and Rhode Island – were chosen to participate in the second cohort of the SOHLI. The institute, made possible by the DentaQuest Foundation, offers a unique opportunity for state Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors to collaborate and develop key leadership competencies in pursuit of shared goals. The 10–month leadership program will provide these state partners with the leadership skills and policy knowledge to improve oral health access and outcomes, especially for low-income children and adults. The first SOHLI cohort will conclude in December 2017. State pairs competitively selected to participate in the second SOHLI cohort include: Dental Policy Director Linda Maytan, DDS, Minnesota Department of Human Services and State Oral Health Director Prasida Khanal, Minnesota Department of Health.

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MDH and ORHPC grants and loans

The Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program (LFP) is open for applications until January 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. The purpose of this program is to recruit and retain health care professionals to needed areas and facilities in Minnesota. Loan forgiveness is an important benefit for health care professionals as well as health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary care services. The Minnesota LFP provides funds for repayment of qualified educational loans.

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Other grants and funding

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

Health Resources & Services Administration posted the Rural Health Care Services Outreach program (HRSA-18-030). It is a community-based grant program aimed towards promoting rural health care services by enhancing health care delivery in rural communities. Outreach projects focus on the improvement of access to services, strategies for adapting to changes in the health care environment, and overall enrichment of the respective community’s health. Applications are due December 6.

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NOSORH Grant Writing Institute

Registration is now open for the 2018 NOSORH Grant Writing Institute (GWI). GWI features a series of nine online learning sessions covering every aspect of grant writing with a unique rural health focus. The series is intended for beginners seeking to gain the skills to research and draft winning proposals from various agencies. Participants will also learn how to form a consortium, develop collaborative proposals, and replicate evidence based models in their communities. Class size is limited, so register now!

Rural health economics scholar

A recent episode of the Rural Health Leadership Radio features a conversation with Allan Jenkins, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Professor Jenkins' areas of interest include rural health care, local economic development and Platte River issues. In 2016, Jenkins received the President’s Award from the Nebraska Rural Health Association.

Webinar on improving asthma management

Minnesota Department of Health's Health Care Homes Learning Collaborative will host a webinar showcasing how the Robbinsdale Area Schools and Park Nicollet Health Services leveraged the TEAMS framework to foster partnerships to improve asthma care and management for students and patients. The webinar will be held Thursday, December 7, from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Visit the Health Care Homes website for information and registration.The TEAMS project aims to improve child health by supporting school districts in making improvements to their health services and better preparing students for academic success.

Registered nurses in primary care training program

Applications for the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR)—Registered Nurses in Primary Care (RNPC) Training Program are due January 19, 2018. The purpose of this four–year training program is to recruit and train nursing students and current registered nurses (RNs) to practice to the full scope of their license in community-based primary care teams to increase access to care, with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control, including mental health and substance use conditions.

Primary care training and enhancement: Training primary care champions

The purpose of the Primary Care Training and Enhancement program is to strengthen primary care and the workforce by establishing fellowship programs to train community–based practicing primary care physician and/or physician assistant champions to lead health care transformation and enhance teaching in community–based settings. A webinar will be held Monday, December 18 to outline the program. Applications are due January 30, 2018.

Rural oral health care integration into primary care

In the Journal of Rural Health, Autumn 2017, an entire section is devoted to the subject of "Rural Oral Health Care Integration Into Primary Care." Three articles show the importance of integrating oral health and primary care medicine: The role of primary care for the oral health of rural and urban older adults; Preventive dental checkups and their association with access to usual source of care among rural and urban adult residents; An assessment of participant-described interprofessional oral health referral systems across rurality.

Call for Minnesota e-Health Summit presentations

The 13th Annual Minnesota e-Health Summit: Act Today, Impact Tomorrow will be held June 14, 2018, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Please direct any questions to


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News of our partners

National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) Community Stars 2017

On the third Thursday of November every year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) leads the National Rural Health Day celebration.

NOSORH is the member organization serving all 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) which includes the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.

SORHs provide support to rural hospitals, clinics and first responders in several ways including technical assistance, funding that supports workforce development, population health management and quality improvement initiatives.

Every year, NOSORH asked SORHs to nominate hospital and emergency first responder teams, community health and volunteer service heroes on the front lines of rural health who are making a positive impact on rural lives. This year, David Kohs, a volunteer Ambulance Service Director from Elgin, Minnesota, is featured in the 2017 edition of the Community Star.

Community Stars

Read David's full story at the website.

Local public health leaders recognized with 2017 LPHA Awards

The Local Public Health Association of Minnesota (LPHA) recognized local and state public health leaders for their outstanding commitment and contributions to promoting the public’s health as part of its 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Dakota County Public Health Director Bonnie Brueshoff was given the Barbara O'Grady Excellence in Public Health Nursing Leadership Award; Jeff Travis from Washington County's Public Health and Environment Department was given the LPHA Legislative Leadership Award; Tony Buttacavoli from Isanti County Public Health was given the LPHA Emerging Leader Award; Hennepin County Public Health was given the LPHA Chair's Award; and Beth Gyllstrom and Kim Gearin from the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Public Health Practice, were given the LPHA Partnership Award. Congratulations!

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ORHPC staff news

Reimbursement Fiscal Analyst Craig Baarson, Primary Care Office Coordinator Debra Jahnke and Financial and Technical Assistance Unit Supervisor Will Wilson visited St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Wabasha, to go through a Rural Health Clinic mock survey.

Student Worker–Para Professional Senior Tejaswini Phatak and Senior Research Analyst Laura McLain went to Pepin Valley Dental to interview a dental hygienist.

Lake Pepin, Minnesota

Beautiful Lake Pepin, Minnesota

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Now read this

Health equity

NQF issues quality roadmap for reducing healthcare disparities (National Quality Forum).
Powering health equity action with online data tools: 10 design principles (PolicyLink and Ecotrust).
Columbia nursing home makes elder Koreans feel at home (The Baltimore Sun).
Health equity in Minnesota with Bruce Thao (A Public Health Journal).
Racial and ethnic health disparities among rural adults (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).

Health care

As health care changes, insurers, hospitals and drugstores team up (The New York Times).
Minnesotans give local health care system good marks (Twin Cities Business).

Rural health

The health wagon: A telehealth resource in a rural wilderness (mHealth Intelligence).
Rural transportation: Challenges and opportunities (University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center).
Rural long-term services and supports: A primer (Rural Policy Research Institute).


Rural CEOs: The unknown shortage (HealthLeaders Media).
Illicit drug use, illicit drug use disorders, and drug overdose deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas – United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).


Faster internet coming to greater Minnesota, with help from the state (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
Telemedicine for addiction treatment? Picture remains fuzzy (National Public Radio).
The underestimated cost of the opioid crisis (The Council of Economic Advisers).

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Save the date

The 2017 Human Rights Symposium Creating a More Perfect Union will be held December 12-13 in St. Paul.

The 2018 Equity Summit Powers. Our Future. Our Nation. will be April 11-13 in Chicago, Illinois.

The 4th annual National Rural EMS and Care Conference will be April 24-25 in Tucson, Arizona.

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Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
P. O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882
Phone 651-201-3838
Toll free in Minnesota 800-366-5424
Fax: 651-201-3830

Comments? Contact or call 651-201-3863.


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ORHPC Mission: To promote access to quality health care for all Minnesotans. We work as partners with policymakers, providers, and rural and underserved urban communities to ensure a continuum of core health services throughout the state.
Updated Tuesday, 20-Nov-2018 09:35:32 CST bgcolor=#78be21